US 3909792 A
There is disclosed an electrocardiographic review system for displaying ECG data for each of eight patients. Whenever the data for a new patient is to be observed, two trend plots are first displayed on the screen. One of these represents the number of heartbeats per minute and the other represents the number of ectopic beats per minute, the time axis being divided into approximately 240 discrete 1-minute intervals so that the trend date for a 4-hour monitoring period can be displayed. The reviewing physician can move a cursor across the screen to a point of particular interest, for example, to a point along the time axis corresponding to a 1-minute interval during which many ectopic beats were detected. Following this, when a display key in the system is operated, a 4-second stationary display of the first ECG waveform of interest which occurred during that 1-minute interval is formed. Thereafter, each operation of the display key controls the display of another 4-second ECG waveform. In this manner, the reviewing physician can determine those intervals during monitoring which are of particular interest, and can then immediately control the display of the successive 4-second ECG waveforms on the screen. The same screen is thus used to display both compressed-time trend data, and expanded-time ECG waveforms.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Harris et al.
1 1 Sept. 30, 1975 1 1 ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHIC REVIEW SYSTEM  Inventors: George Jerry Harris. Framingham;
Donald DePedro. Millis. both of Mass,
 Assignee: American Optical Corporation.
|22| Filed: Feb. 26. 1973 121] App]. No: 335.631
 Int. C11... (1061 3/00: A618 5/02;G1)6F 3/14;
|58| Field of Search 3411/1725. 324 A; 128/2116 A; 315/18. 365. 366. 367. 379. 411
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3.111 1.164 11/1961 (ierhardt 341N324 3.292.489 12/1966 Johnson 88/24 3.332.071 7/1967 Goldman 340/1725 3.4116387 111/1968 W'etttte 340/324 3.437.373 4/1969 Eggcrt 115/2 3.447.123 5/1969 Bettcher 34(1/1 3.471.743 111/1969 Olsson 15/24 3.497.760 2/1970 Kiesling, 315/18 3.551.891 12/1970 Hermes...., 340/1725 3.585.597 6/1971 Holmerud. 340/1725 3.643.219 2/1972 Heimann... 3411/1725 3.753.240 14/1973 Merwin.. 340/1 725 3,765.00) 111/1973 (iraves 340/324 A 3.829.841 8/1974 Steinberg i 3411/1715 R269) 6/1971] Hagelharger 340/1725 Primary E.\'amim'rGarcth D. Shaw ASSISIUIII l;'.\'umiiwrJames D. Thomas Attorney; Agenl. or Firm loel Wall; William Nealon  ABSTRACT There is disclosed an electrocardiographic review system for displaying ECG data for each of eight patients, Whenever the data for a new patient is to be observed. two trend plots are first displayed on the screen. One 01 these represents the number of heartbeats per min ate and the other represents the number of ectopic beats per minute. the time axis being divided into approximately 240 discrete l-minute intervals so that the trend date for a 4hour monitoring period can be dis played. The reviewing physician can move a cursor across the screen to a point of particular interest. for example. to a point along the time axis corresponding to a 1-minute interval during which many ectopic heats were detected. Following this. when a display key in the system is operated. a 4-second stationary display ot the first ECG waveform o1 interest which occurred durin; that l minutc interval is formed. Thereafter. each operation ot the display key controls the display of another 4-seeond ECG navetorm. In this manner. the reviewing physician can determine those intervals during monitoring which are of partieular interest. and can then immediately control the display of the successive 4-second ECG waveforms on the screen. The same screen is thus used to display both compressed-time trend data. and expanded-time ECG waveforms 15 Claims. 29 Drawing Figures -1 |l/4 SECOND LEVEL llllllll LEVEL oooooooo VPB 10 341114 U.S. Patfint Sept. 30,1975
PRIOR ART Sheet 1 of 17 PRIOR ART;
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9 STATE OF COUNTER I06 0 I I I 2 5 4 5 s I 7 ks Y N c DHFIFLHHHHF HOR SWEE use MSG ECG unsoa HR ECT ECT ECT use cm J G l E CURSOR GATE l L HR GATE I I ECT GATE J L VERTICAL 3E SWEEP POSITIONING 2E WAVEFORM P NO. OF REQUIRED SWEE CLOCK PULSES DURING TYPE 2- MSEC swm RATE use 256 128 KHZ l5 ECG 4096 2048 KHZ CURSOR 25a 128 KHZ HR 2045 102mm in 204s |o24 KHZ US. Patent Sept. 30,1975 Sheet 14 of 17 g 3: 5;: .2: $5; 9 C c C TI... 5 J w E. I: :3 JII IIL $0 3?: c c C: c: 1% JLJ j j g j j fl jlam pg--- E H U.S. Patent Sept. 30,1975 Sheet 15 of 17 3,909,792
DSPSRV SET UP DISK DISABLE REOA RE DATA CURRENT PATIENT TABLE SECTOR ADDRESS-RKDA SET UP RETURN AT DRETI START READTNT;
( RETURN DRETI fi. o |-NEwcP N UPDATE CRSPOS R F/G.2/B T ECGADR-l ECGADR 60 T0 EREAD US. Patent Sept. 30,1975 Sheet 16 0fl7 3,909,792
0 F/GZPZA 0 FIGZZB YES Rl+l- Rl LOAD'END" NON ZERO ERTRY ECGADR m MESSAGE N0 R| 256 I ONEWCP 9 YES SET UP msmv "DISK" l-LSTONE I R|CRSPOS-ADVCTR SET UP RETURN [0cm ECGADR RT DRETS EREAD= SET UP DISK START WRITING EccR0R-RRnR RETURN sn UP RETURN Mm AT DRETZ ii/6 226 START READING RETURN ENABLE TRANSMIT ADVANCE REM CURSOR CODE (RET RN) cRsRfis+|-cRsPos ADVCTR-I'-ADVCTR US. Patent Sept. 30,1975 Sheet 17 of 17 3,909,792
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PNT.No.-EccNuN FIG 24 P T SET up A 1ENT TNREE sEcToR 111511 ADDRESS STORED DATA WITHIN (ADDRESS OF ECG sEcToR N+1 DATA sEcToR1 cuRRENT PATIENT 0 TREND sum 2 N+2 ADDRESS-*RKDA s N+3 4 N+5 5 1 SET UP mm 6 AT TNDI 7 a N+12 1 1 1 1 sum READING 1 1 I RETuRN 299 c 30s TRANSMIT STATE 2 CODE ONE SHOT SETUP DISPLAY"I)|SK' 301 5n UP RETURN 505 NT TNDRET 25-112 OSCILLATOR 504 sTNRT WRITING Fl 6. 4A
1 RETURN ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHIC REVIEW SYSTEM TABLE OF CONTENTS Subheading Description of Prior Art Brief Description of the Invention The Drawings The Display and the Keyboard The Overall System The Computer The Keyboard The Disk Interface The Display Interface The Display and Keyboard Logic The System States Packing of Trend Data CRT Refresh Memory ECG Data Loading Recirculation & Display Reloading ECG Data The 4-Channel Display a. CRT Sweep Waveforms b. System Clock c. Analog Display Generation d. Sequencing of Horizontal Sweeps e. Vertical Sweeps The Digital to Analog Conversion The CRT Blanking The Detailed Message Generation Organization of Data and its Orderly Transmission to the Display and Keyboard Logic The Disk Storage The Display Service a. Trend Display b. ECG Display c. Table Lookup d. Filled Disk e. Reading ECG Data from Disk f. Sending ECG Data to Display g. Reading Trend from Disk h. Trend to Display Recording Sequence Alternative Embodiments of the Invention ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHIC REVIEW SYSTEM This invention relates to display systems, and more particularly to display systems which facilitate the review of electrocardiographic and other signals.
DESCRIPTION OF PRIOR ART The conventional ECG paper trace serves admirably when a patient is being tested and a physician must review a relatively limited number of waveforms. But when a patient is being monitored continuously, for example, in the intensive care unit of a hospital, the paper trace form of recording has a severe limitation. For example, if a physician reviews the patients progress at 4-hour intervals, and if he must review a 4-hour paper trace at such a time, it is apparent that the task is indeed formidable.
For this reason, various systems have been devised for reducing the amount of information which is recorded during an extended monitoring interval. Two such systems are disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,616,971 issued on Nov. 2, 1971 to George J. Harris and entitled ELECT RO-CARDIOGRAPHIC MORPHOLOGY RECOGNITION SYSTEM," and copending application Ser. No. 192,191 of George J. Harris, filed on Oct. 26, 1971, issued on Apr. 30, I974 as US. Pat. No. 3,807,392, and entitled ELECTROCARDIO- GRAPHIC PATIENT MONITORING AND MOR- PI-IOLOGY RECOGNITIONMETHOD." The systems disclosed in the aforesaid patent and application detect ectopic beats and other atypical waveforms; in response to the detection of any such beat or waveform, a 4-second recording of the patient's ECG signal is made. The 4-second recording includes a portion of the ECG signal which preceeded the detection of an ectopic or other unusual beat, and a portion of the signal which follows it.
But even this approach has been found to present problems in connection with the review of the recording. It is exceedingly difficult for the reviewing physician to get a birds-eye" view of the overall cardiac activity during the extended monitoring time period. Moreover, if there is a limited time interval of special interest to the physician, and for which he wishes to review the individual ECG waveforms which have been recorded, it may be difficult for him to isolate and retrieve those particular waveforms.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION It is a general object of our invention to provide an improved display system for facilitating the review of electrocardiographic and other sets of data.
In accordance with the principles of the present invention, an electronic display is provided in which the physician has control over what is displayed. In the illustrative embodiment of the invention, there are providcd recorded signals for each of eight different patients. The physician can select for display the data for a particular patient, and he can also control the particular data for that patient which is displayed. The form of the display is an important aspect of the invention because it is this which greatly aids a physician in the review of ECG waveforms recorded over extended time periods and permits him to select particular waveforms of interest and to control their immediate display. But before proceeding to a description of the form of the display, it is necessary to understand the four types of data recorded for each patient. No claim to invention is being made herein to the derivation and recording of the four types of signals. The invention pertains to the display of the signals and the manner in which the display can be controlled by the reviewing physician.
The first type of data which is stored for review is heartbeat rate trend" data. The number of heartbeats detected during each l-minute interval of monitoring is recorded. The second type of data which is recorded is ectopic beat rate trend" data. Utilizing equipment such as that disclosed in the two aforesaid systems, a count is maintained for each l-minute interval of the number of ectopic beats which occur. For each of the 240 minutes in a 4-hour monitoring period. there is thus available a count of the number of heartbeats and the number of ectopic beats which took place during that minute.
The third type of data which is recorded is electrocardiographic signal data for each patient. Whenever an ectopic beat is detected, a 4-second ECG signal segment is recorded. The recording is in the form of sampled data. If samples of an ECG signal are taken at the rate of per second, the signal can be reconstructed with no loss of fidelity. A set of 480 samples is recorded for each 4-second signal segment whenever an ectopic beat is detected.
The fourth type of data which is recorded is message data; a message is associated with each 4-second ECG signal recording. The message includes a patient identification number, the time of day when the recording was made and a short description of the type of heat recorded, for example, a ventricular premature beat (VPB). (The two systems referred to above are capable of analyzing and characterizing heartbeats.)
The display utilizes an oscilloscope, and the sweep circuitry is arranged such that there are four types of horizontal sweeps across the face of the tube. For each type of horizontal sweep, the vertical sweep is modulated at a fast rate to control a respective one of four different displays. The lowest display is of ectopic beat rate data. The horizontal axis of the display represents a 4-hour time period. For the lowest display, the vertical axis represents ectopic beat rate. For each of the 240 minutes represented along the time axis, a vertical bar is drawn on the face of the oscilloscope, the height of the bar representing the number of ectopic beats detected during the respective minute. There is thus formed a histogram which is a birds-eye" view or compressed-time" trend plot of the 4-hour monitoring period insofar as ectopic beat rate is concerned.
Immediately above this histogram there is displayed a plot which represents the same patients heartbeat rate over the same 4-hour period. For each of the 240 minutes represented in the display, a single dot is formed on the display, the 240 dots appearing as a continuous curve across the face of the display. There is thus available a bird's-eye" or trend view of the patients heartbeat rate over the extended monitoring period.
Above the heartbeat rate plot, a 4-second expanded-time" ECG signal segment is displayed. The display is stationary so that it can be reviewed by the physician. It is not possible to display simultaneously all of the 4- second recordings which were taken during the 4-hour monitoring period. A key aspect of our invention pertains to the manner in which the reviewing physician can select particular 4-second segments for display. Immediately above a selected 4-second displayed segment there appears an associated message patient number, time of day. and characterization of the ectopic beat which triggered the 4-second recording in the first place.
There is also displayed a cursor, or mark, directly above the heartbeat rate plot. The physician is provided with a key which when operated moves the cursor horizontally, in the direction of increasing time. Each operation of the key causes the cursor to move to the right by the amount corresponding to 1 minute in the 4-hour two lower displays. By moving the cursor, the physician in effect selects a particular one of the 240 minutes along the two 4-hour trend plots. Typically, the physician will look at the two compressedtime displays (ectopic beat and heartbeat rates) and select a time of day during which there was a type of heart activity of particular interest. For example, the physician may move the cursor across the display until it is directly above a peak in either of the compressedtime trend plots, The equipment is provided with a display" key which when operated by the physician controls the display of a 4-second ECG signal segment.
After the cursor is moved to a new position (corresponding to a new minute in the 4-hour monitoring period), if the display key is operated the 4-second ECG signal segment which is immediately displayed is the first such segment which was recorded during the selectcd minute. After examining this segment, if the physician again operates the display button, the next 4- second ECG signal segment is displayed. In this manner, the physician can display successive 4-second segments which were recorded during any minute of interest. Theoretically, there may be up to 15 such segments which were recorded during any 1-minute monitoring interval.
Should the physician keep on operating the display button, successive 4-second segments of the ECG signal would be displayed. After all of the segments recorded for any one-minute interval have been displayed in this manner, the first segment, if any, recorded during the next minute interval will be displayed. In this case, the cursor automatically moves over one position, corresponding to 1 minute on the two compressed-time plots, to indicate that the 4- second ECG signal segment which is being displayed was taken during the next minute of the 4-hour monitoring period.
The major advantage of the display system of our invention is that the physician is provided with at least one compressed-time plot (it is not necessary in a less sophisticated system to display both heartbeat and ectopic beat rate plots) from which he can immediately perceive the overall activity during the extended monitoring period. Based on the compressed-time plot or plots, the physician can select a particular time of day which is of interest by manually controlling movement of the cursor across the face of the display. After the cursor has been moved to the selected time of day, the physician can then control the successive displays of the individu'al 4-second ECG signal segments which were recorded during the respective one-minute interval. The physician can thus quickly retrieve and have displayed for him all of the ECG signal segments which are of particular interest to him, that is, all of those ECG signal segments which occurred during oneminute intervals when there was heartbeat or ectopic beat activity of particular interest. The physician cannot only select those ECG signal segments which he wants to see based upon information represented in the compressed-time plots, but the first such ECG signal segment is displayed immediately once a particular time of day is selected and successive ECG signal segments are displayed automatically simply by operating the display key.
Further objects, features and advantages of our invention will become apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawing, in which:
THE DRAWINGS FlG. 1 depicts a block diagram of the system of my invention;
FIG. 2 depicts the form of the display;
FlG. 3 depicts the circuitry within the display interface block of FlG. l;
FlGS. 4-1l depict the circuitry included in the "display and keyboard logic" block of FlG. l, with FIG. 4A depicting in detail the pulser block 48 of FIG. 4;